Surge of Road Building? Thanks but I Wanted a Bus

Radio news told me yesterday that my state is going to spend a gajillion dollars and 15 years building new lanes on congested interstates. This seems an exercise in futility – the roads they plan to expand already have four lanes on each side. All those previous lane additions have filled up with even more automobiles.

http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/tennessee-s-surge-road-improvements-also-brings-lots-construction

I wrote the following on the radio news’ website:

“I want effective bus routes to relieve congestion. I want to get on the bus at the corner of my street and get off a bus 15 miles later, up the street from my office. I want bus and I want news of light rail corridors being added so that I can get around town without having to fire up a single-unit combustion engine, waste a bunch of gasoline, and go it alone to fight traffic.

If I need to get from my house in Murfreesboro to my allergist’s office in Franklin and want to use our current mass transit, the Metro website tells me it would take two and a half days. That it stupid.

Nashville and its surrounds are one of the largest cities in the richest country on Earth. We should have a transit system that puts the rest of the world to shame, where each of us could travel in comfort and ease instead of taking our chances head-to-head against lunatics on the road.

Buses and trains are 1000% safer than automobiles. Adding bus routes would not cause 15 years worth of construction delays, it would just relieve congestion.”

I did not fact check the actual safety percentage of bus and train versus automobile. But the National Safety Council report for 2015 says, “38,300 people were killed on U.S. roads in 2015, and roughly 4.4 million sustained injuries that resulted in medical consultations”.

http://www.newsweek.com/2015-brought-biggest-us-traffic-death-increase-50-years-427759

http://asirt.org/initiatives/informing-road-users/road-safety-facts/road-crash-statistics

https://journalistsresource.org/studies/environment/transportation/comparing-fatality-risks-united-states-transportation-across-modes-time

Basically, each American has a 1 in 6,800 chance of dying in a car wreck each year. If I calculated correctly, you are 97% more likely to die if you drive rather than take a commuter bus or train. And that actually includes the drivers of those buses and trains. One quarter of commuter bus and train deaths are actually just the drivers.

Sure, people need to drive. I get it and I like driving, too. But I get no thrill or sense of rugged individualism from a boring commute to work. And now, for the privilege of continuing this tedious drive, I will have to deal with years of construction getting in my way instead of just catching a quick bus ride.

National Security and Public Lands

Dear Senator Corker,
I was stunned this weekend to hear that a Russian spymaster was allowed (invited) into the Oval Office, a place that has been off-limits to our former adversary for decades. Is this correct? Did this happen? I do not know what kind of security issues this might raise, what secrets might exist in that room. But whatever is there is now open and available to a country that has behaved aggressively towards the US and many of our allies.

This action was outside of your control, I am sure. But I am seriously concerned about the security of our executive office.

A business office might welcome a competitor, but the USA is not available for sale.
Or at least, it should NOT be available for sale. Our nation is bought and paid for by our own taxes and in the case of our military, our people’s lives.

I also learned this past week that Tennessee is seeking to turn our beautiful state parks over to private control. My concern here is similar to the above: this is my state. Those parks are maintained and kept in the interest of myself and our visitors. If private industries wish to run natural sites, they are welcome to seek out and purchase land that is for sale and leave our parks out of the question.

I do not wish to see our public lands turned over to the care of private companies. I do not want our lands developed or “improved”. These parks should remain basic and available to visitors as inexpensive, close destinations. Our parks provide rest and rejuvenation for people who cannot afford resorts or hotels, they provide homes for native wildlife, they provide open spaces for peoples whose lives are mostly enclosed.

Public lands comprise just 3% of the USA lands. These parks are our public treasures. Private industry wants to hoard treasure for its own purposes. There is plenty of opportunity for private industry in the remaining 90+ percent.

Please use what influence you have to shore up our security issues where Russia is concerned.

Please vote to keep our public parks and forests safely in the hands of the US public.

GotG 2 Cast Signs

US adventure movies are often populated by Gemini-and-Cancer-heavy casts. This film also features two Capricorns, opposite of Cancer, reinforcing the script’s parenting theme.

Michael Rooker 6 Apr 1955 Aries
Pom Klementieff 3 May 1986 Taurus
Zoe Saldana 19 June 1978 Gemini
Sean Gunn 22 May 1974 Gemini
Chris Pratt 21 June 1979 Gem/Canc
Chris Sullivan 3 July 1965 Cancer
Sly Stallone 6 July 1946 Cancer
Vin Diesel 18 July 1967 Cancer
Elizabeth Debicki ? Aug 1990 ? Leo/Vir
Karen Gillan 28 Nov 1987 Sagittarius
Bradley Cooper 5 Jan 1975 Capricorn
Dave Bautista 18 Jan 1969 Capricorn
Kurt Russell 17 Mar 1951 Pisces

So Many People

Any time I travel to unfamiliar places, the homes and cars intrigue me. They are strange, even if they are just like the houses and cars I know from home. These belong to people I have never met, even tho I have met thousands of people. I look at windows that frame strangers and I wonder. 

Thousands of houses on scores of roads. 

I have passed by maybe one one hundredth of the world’s humans in my day. Walking or riding thru big cities like Dallas, Chicago, London, you pass shoulder by should with more people than you could ever know. They live beside you, unknown no yet familiar. 

Millions of windows, billions of souls. 

People are the same, everywhere. Everywhen. If you have gotten to know more than a few people, really know then, then no one is really a stranger. 

This fact has no impact on the wonder I feel when travelling. Cars, houses, windows, shoulders, so many strange people, all here together. 

ISO A Grown Up

Overstimulated and tired. It is funny how quick I turn into a 47 year old toddler. I am ready to wrestle, cry, argue, or hide, and cannot figure which is my best option. Everything is funny and also hurts my feelings. 

How the fuck did our hunter gatherer ancestors survive? I would slap myself so hard right now, if I were another person. Wow that sounds weird. Right now, my shepherd mix puppy is just as emotionally balanced as me. 

That little shit won’t give me the rope bone. 

Not Machinated

I got triggered today, reading an opinion from a men’s group. They believe among other things that women should just hold still and deal with rape since it only lasts about a quarter hour. 

This is the attitude you take towards machines. Do you have enough gasoline to get to the store and back? It’s only a quarter hour’s drive there. Just see if the car can make it. 

My primal mind wants to see these men violated, forced to accept tapeworm-ridden foods and beatings from psychotic sadists. Anything to make them understand what rape actually feels like to a human. 

But there is no convincing these men that women are living creatures. They cannot comprehend, even torture would not get thru to them. I can only hope that jail time will. 

ACA /”Obamacare”

Hello Congressman Corker,
Once again, this program is under a repeal. People are alive now because of the medical care they have received under this act. I am not personally helped this way, I am healthy now and not elderly. 
Regardless, I want the people who are helped by ACA to continue to live and receive the medical care they need without interruption and without regard to their income level. People are more important than money. 

Please vote to improve the ACA. 

Please work to improve the ACA. 

Please pledge to keep the ACA in place to ensure that all Americans can receive valuable healthcare, preventative medicine, health screenings, consistent and comprehensive medical and dental care. 

Thank you,
Kitti McConnell